Missed Spinal Cord Injuries
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. The spinal cord plays a vital role in both the motor and sensory function of the human body. Running from the base of the skull to the top of the pelvis, the spinal cord sends out nerves to all parts of the body. These nerves carry motor commands from the brain to the limbs in addition to transmitting sensory signals in the opposite direction. Because nerves do not regenerate in the same way that other cells do, damage to the spinal cord can be severe. If there are worries that someone has sustained a spinal cord injury, there are several tests that might be performed. Some of the diagnostic procedures include:
- EMG: EMG stands for electromyography. In this test, electrical signals are transmitted down the nerves. The speed of this conduction is measured. Slow or absent speeds could indicate nerve damage.
- CT Scan: CT stands for computed tomography. This test can be thought of as a three-dimensional x-ray. This is a quick scan that can produce a detailed image of the spine, looking for signs of damage.
- MRI Scan: MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. This procedure takes a long time to produce its image. However, it also creates a detailed picture of what is happening. Physicians rely on this test to make informed decisions.
While these tests are great for making accurate images of serious injuries, they cannot be used alone to dictate decision-making. As a recent case report shows, injuries can be missed.
Imaging Isn’t Everything: Missed Spinal Cord Injuries
In the age of advanced technology, it is easy to rely on imagery for everything. Unfortunately, these pictures aren’t perfect. A recent research article was published that reviewed several cases of missed spinal cord injuries because of the absence of evidence on imaging. When spinal cord injuries are missed, they could lead to complications that could have otherwise been prevented. Sometimes, these complications could include paralysis. Clinical symptoms of severe spinal cord injuries could include:
- Shooting pains down the legs or arms.
- Tingling, numbness, or difficulty with movement.
- Wide swings in someone’s heart rate or blood pressure.
- Loss of consciousness.
The research article also discussed that imaging findings could show up later. Therefore, repeating imaging tests is a good idea.
A Legal Advisor Can Provide Assistance
Spinal cord injuries can require long-term care and families often have questions about what the future holds. Because of the stress that the injuries can create, families should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Sacramento.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, call me at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400. I am always willing to share friendly, free advice.
I am a proud member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
My guests can look through our verdicts or settlements at this site.
Photo by Olenka Kotyk on Unsplash
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